[Ottawa]China’s rising authoritarianism and forced diplomacy are challenging democracies around the world, including Canada, Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said on June 7.
Garneau told Parliamentary Commission that Canada and other democracies are working on the issue of how to align their business, security and human rights goals with China.
“China in 2021 is not the same as China in 2016. Canada’s approach needs to evolve with evolving China.”
“China’s economic power is bold in its ambitions and interests to extend beyond the Asia-Pacific region, which has enjoyed enormous influence for centuries, to the entire globe, including here in Canada,” he said. Told.
Garneau said that being devoted to coexistence with China means knowing when to work with the country on global issues such as climate change and when to challenge China for human rights abuses. Stated.
“It also means challenging China if human rights are violated or if Canadian citizens or interests are threatened,” he said.
Garnot added that the path to long-term relations with China of any kind requires a safe return of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spaver to Canada.
“Taking them home is and will continue to be a top priority in dealing with China.”
The two, who became known as “Two Michaels,” were detained in December 2018, days after Canada arrested Huawei executive Men Men Meng Wanzhou on a request for surrender from the United States.
According to Garneau, the two received a virtual visit from consular officials two weeks ago, but China has not allowed the consular access to other Canadian citizens detained in the country.
He said China should give consular officers access to Hussein Ceril so that Canada can confirm his health.
Settled in southern Ontario after becoming a Canadian citizen, Ceril is a former Uighur activist imprisoned in China for 15 years.
Garneau said China should put an end to a systematic crackdown on Uighurs and other Muslim minorities, given increasing evidence of forced labor, political re-education, torture and forced sterilization. Stated.
With intensifying competition with China and the proliferation of digital technology, Ottawa is working with other governments, businesses and universities to protect intellectual property and digital infrastructure, protect democratic institutions from foreign interference, and go to elections. He said he was forced to protect himself from interference.
“Hostile activity by national actors poses a strategic and long-term threat to Canada,” Garnot said. “They have the potential to undermine our economic, industrial, military and technological advantages.”
Garneau said Canada is cooperating with other G7 countries to combat foreign interference.
“We must continue to work with partners around the world to uphold the rules-based international order and protect human rights and freedoms.”